Myth that lesbian, gay, and bisexual women cannot get HPV is WRONG, the NHS warns because it & # 39; anyone with a cervix & # 39; encouraged to go to life-saving screening appointments
- Homosexual women can skip screening & # 39; because they think they are safe & # 39;
- But the NHS has warned & # 39; cancer does not discriminate & # 39; based on sexuality
- Anyone with a cervix should go to the routine screening appointments
Women endanger their lives through a false belief that they will not get HPV if they do not have sex with men, the NHS warned.
Thousands of lesbian, gay and bisexual women skip testing for cervical screening and the health service is worried because they don't think they are in danger.
A survey found that gay women are almost twice as likely to have never attended a screening than the national average.
The general virus causes almost all cases of cervical cancer and both HPV and cancer have an impact on & # 39; anyone with a cervix & # 39 ;, according to top doctors.
If all eligible women went to their screening appointments, where they have been invited at least every three years, four out of five cases of cancer can be avoided.
A NHS survey shows that lesbian, gay, and bisexual women are nearly twice as likely to have never been to a cervical screening than the national average (stock image)
& # 39; The misleading information that homosexual and bisexual women are not at risk for this disease is one of the most dangerous myths in the area & # 39 ;, said Dr. Michael Brady, adviser to the NHS for LGBT health.
& # 39; It has created a screening gap for thousands, which is a major concern for our community.
& # 39; Let's be clear: cancer does not discriminate.
& # 39; If you have a cervix, you can get cervical cancer and because cervical cancer is preventable, people should make their regular screening appointments. & # 39;
WHAT IS HPV? THE INFECTION RELATED WITH 99% OF CERVICAL CANCER AND 91% OF THE CASES OF ANAL CANCER
Up to eight out of ten people will be infected with HPV in their lives
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name for a group of viruses that affect your skin and the moist membranes on the inside of your body.
Spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex and skin-to-skin contact between sexual organs, it is very common.
Up to eight out of ten people will be infected with the virus at some point in their lives.
There are more than 100 types of HPV. About 30 of them can affect the genital area. Genital HPV infections are common and highly contagious.
Many people never show symptoms because they can occur years after infection and the majority of cases disappear without treatment.
It can lead to genital warts and it is also known to create cervical cancer caused by abnormal tissue growth.
Annually, an average of 38,000 cases of HPV-related cancer are diagnosed in the US, 3,100 cases of cervical cancer in the UK and about 2,000 other forms of cancer in men.
HPV can also cause cancer of the throat, neck, tongue, tonsils, vulva, vagina, penis or anus. It can take years for cancer to develop.
The NHS has given its warning prior to Pride Week and its experts claim the rumor is widespread among homosexual women.
Figures show that 19 percent of lesbian, gay or bisexual women – who are thought to be no less than 50,000 – have never been in a cervical screening.
This is comparable to just an average of just 10.9 percent of women in the general population last year – out of a total of more than 4.4 million.
Only about 71 percent of the more than four million women who were invited to life-saving appointments last year have actually gone.
The 10 minute screening tests included taking a sample of cells from a woman's cervix – the connection between the vaginal tract and the uterus.
These are then examined for signs of any abnormalities that could lead to cervical cancer in the future. If there are signs, preventive treatment can be given.
Human papillomavirus (HPV), the culprit of most cancers, infects most people at some point in their lives and is harmless in the vast majority of cases.
& # 39; Women having sex with women can still get HPV during sex & # 39 ;, said Professor Anne Mackie, screening director of Public Health England.
& # 39; We encourage anyone with a cervix between 25 and 64 to regularly perform a cervix test. & # 39;
HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can also spread through the mouth, not just through penetrating sex.
Scientists this week predicted that cervical cancer could be eradicated in the UK in the coming decades because the HPV vaccine appears to be so effective.
A major screening program & # 39; s involving 60 million people in 14 countries found that the levels of the two HPV strands primarily responsible for the cancer decreased 83 percent in girls aged 13 to 19 years after five to eight year of vaccination.
They also dropped 66 percent in women aged 20 to 24, according to the results published in The Lancet Medical Journal.
A Stonewall spokesperson said: “There are many misconceptions about the health needs of LGBT people.
& # 39; We also know that there is a wider barrier to access to healthcare for LGBT people. Our health report for 2018 showed that one in seven (14 percent) LGBT people indicated that they do not seek healthcare for fear of discrimination.
& # 39; It is absolutely vital that LGBT people receive accurate information through education, and that they are supported by a healthcare system that understands their needs. & # 39;
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